BERKELEY (Reuters) – An 18-year-old black man was shot and killed by police late on Tuesday at a gas station in a St Louis suburb near where unarmed teen Michael Brown was killed by a white officer in August, police and local media said.
A video feed showed the gas station cordoned off by yellow tape and guarded by police, some in helmets and carrying riot shields, with bystanders shouting at them in a tense standoff.
The shooting of Brown in the summer, and the decision not to prosecute the officer involved, set off demonstrations across the country. The St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported that some 60 people had gathered at the scene of Tuesday’s incident and that at least three were arrested.
Images and video footage showed a flash, a loud bang and smoke filling an area near the gas pumps, but it was not clear whether they were caused by bystanders or the police. Local broadcaster KSDK reported people hurled rocks and bricks toward police.
Police said the man who was killed had poin-ted a handgun at an officer who was conducting a “routine business check” and had approached two men outside the gas station after 11pm (0500 GMT) in the suburb of Berkeley.
“Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him,” St Louis County Police Department spokes-man Brian Schellman said in a statement. The second man fled the scene.
The St Louis Post-Dispatch named the dead man as 18-year-old Antonio Martin, citing his mother, who said he was with his girlfriend around the time of the shooting.
“They won’t tell me nothing. His girlfriend told me that the police was messing with him,” the man’s mother, Toni Martin, told a local broadcaster.
“When he was trying to get up and run, they start shooting.”